On April 25, 2017, The Philadelphian on the Parkway, the largest residential condominium building in Philadelphia, received a 2016 ENERGY STAR certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The Office of Sustainability was honored to attend the Philadelphian’s award ceremony along with other local, state, and federal utility officials and community members.  The Philadelphian achieved an ENERGY STAR score of 75 (based on a 1 to 100 scale where 100 is the best energy performer) indicating that it is in the top 25 percent in energy performance compared to other similar multifamily buildings nationwide. It is one of only three multifamily buildings in Pennsylvania receiving 2016 certification.

Attendees at the Philadelphian on the Parkway's award ceremony for becoming Energy Star certified.
Left to right: Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown (Philadelphia City Council), Cristina Fernandez (Director of the Air Protection Division, U.S. EPA Region 3), June Idzal (President of The Philadelphian Owners’ Association), Joan Batory (The Philadelphian’s Green Task Force Chair), Frank Bonom (The Philadelphian’s General Manager), Rich Freeh (Office of Sustainability), Kevin Moran (Executive Director Fairmount Community Development Corporation), Thomas Young (Chief of Staff for PA State Representative Donna Bullock)

Here in Philadelphia, more than half of citywide carbon emissions stem from buildings.  Improving the energy performance of Philadelphia’s commercial and residential building stock is a critical piece to meet Mayor Kenney’s goal of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050.  The Philadelphian serves as an example of building owners committed to energy efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint.

“Saving energy is just one of the ways we show our community we care, and that we’re committed to doing our part to protect the environment and public health, both today and for future generations.” stated by Joan Batory, Chair of the Green Task Force at The Philadelphian

The Green Task Force is a longstanding resident committee promoting sustainability initiatives.  Joan mentioned that being a top energy performer was a group effort for this large 53-year old building that brought together the condominium board of directors, management, environmental staff, and residents to invest $30 million in energy efficiency upgrade projects over the years.  Because of their commitment to energy efficiency, they not only reduced their carbon footprint but saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy bills for their residents and reduced operating costs for the building.

At the award ceremony, Joan Batory pointed out that they would not have used ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager or applied for ENERGY STAR certification if it was not for Philadelphia’s Energy Benchmarking and Public Disclosure law passed by City Council, requiring buildings over 50,000 square feet report energy and water usage annually to the City of Philadelphia.  For a building to fulfill requirements of the benchmarking and public disclosure law, buildings owners and managers use US EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online benchmarking tool, to track energy usage and performance over time. To achieve voluntary ENERGY STAR certification the building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher and have data verified by a professional engineer.

To learn more about Energy Benchmarking in Philadelphia, please visit the City of Philadelphia Building Energy Benchmarking or email benchmarkinghelp@phila.gov